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. today, stunning news from the vatican. i wonder if god was surprised to learn pope benedict is stepping down. >>> i'm s.e. cupp. millions of americans captivated by the search of a successor. the picking a new pontiff. >>> i'm steve kornacki. president obama has tossed out the old olive branch. coming up, a man who himself helped write four state of the union addresses explains who us how it takes shape. >>> i'm krysa tal. should the president go big by thinking small? it's monday and you're in "the cycle." >>> after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the petrine ministry and the pope abdicated with only eight years on st. peter's throne shocking the 1 billion catholic faithful around the world. the's not a papal abdication in more than 700 years and surprised the close est adviser today. he's a theological conservative with strong positions against homosexuality, women priests and the use of contraceptives. the last day in the vatican is february 28th.
of reaction to the announcement of pope benedict xvi that he is resigning. first of all, look at how he -- well, he abdicated rather than resigning. let's see how. he did that during a low-key affair this morning the vatican meeting with cardinals. wasn't a big deal and he said -- his speech made it in latin. not italian or english or a comprehensible language to most people and it was down to somebody from a local press office, local wire agency to actually figure out that he actually said, well look, i'm going to abdicate. even the way that he resigned or -- sorry. abdicated was kind of low key and he did it as he's done the -- as he's leaved his pontificate all along. low key, suited with the personality. so different from john paul ii who was this media savvy loved pope that loved to come out and do big speech and address the big crowds so the pope is kind of going away and stepping aside in a very low key manner as he leaves the whole of his upon tir kate. shocking but not unexpected hinting in the past that a pope is -- if he doesn't feel the strength to carry on, he should resign
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